Brazil may have been my favourite race of the season. It lacked some of the drama of Spa or Monza but the on track action doesn’t come much more thrilling than that.
The race kicked off as you would expect with Rosberg making one of his best starts this season followed by his eager team mate Lewis Hamilton. Behind the Mercedes however the pack mixed as opportunities were lost and places gained.
Nico Rosberg drove better than he has all season, commanding the race right from the start and more importantly managing to keep Hamilton at bay despite his best efforts and generally being the faster man on the circuit.
For William driver Felipe Massa the opposite was true as he made a series of mistakes that cost him in the race initially. Beginning with his stop-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane after the initial round of stops and culminating in his mistaking the McLaren pit box as his own costing him time on his second stop. Fuelled by his home crowed and determination to be o the podium in Brazil he managed a spectacular recovery in the closing stages of the grand prix to take up third on the podium.
The most telling and possibly entertaining battle of the race was between Ferrari team mates Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. Alonso was held up behind Kimi for several laps despite Raikkonen’s car being slower, on older tires and attempting a lean two stop strategy. Under normal conditions this would have easily be subject to team orders, asking Kimi to move aside, yet as the laps ticked down it was clear that Ferrari were not going to give Alonso the courtesy and all but confirming his status in the team as the man on the way out.
Surprise performance of the day came from Jenson Button who drove home in fourth after a great race, as he tries to prove he still has what it takes to be a great F1 driver and hope fully secure a seat for next years season. With his contract up at McLaren and negotiations still underway, it is unclear weather we will see the Brit in F1 next year. I for one hope he stays somewhere on the grid, yet only time will tell.
The final race of the year will be held in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes1hr 30m 02.555s 71 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 01.4s
3. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes +00m 41.0s
5. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault +00m 51.4s
6. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 01.9s
7. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 03.9s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes +01m 10.0s
9. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
10. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
11. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
12. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault +1 lap
13. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
14. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
15. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
16. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
17. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault +8 laps
Rtd. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 39 laps completed
Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 13.555s Lap 62
As the points now stand, this Championship is only Hamilton’s to loose. Even if his team mate takes victory again in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton will only need to finish second to clinch the title. Despite the slight anti climax that this may bring to the season, race on race, this has been one of the most thrilling yet.
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